Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upper Deck Goodwin Champions through the years

Since Upper Deck keeps running out this set (now in it's 5th year) someone other than me must be buying it. I thought I'd do a year-by-year comparison. I'm only going to show a baseball player from each of the sets.

Goodwin Champions was a highly anticipated set in 2009 and it lived up to it's expectations. Upper Deck still had its baseball license. This Bench card is great but really, it was one great card after another.


As near as I can tell, Goodwin Champions was not published in 2010.

After not seeing it in 2010, I never expected to see Goodwin Champions again, but it made a reappearance in 2011. Without a license, Upper Deck was reduced to showing the baseball players in mufti. Still the design was pretty good, if a bit more ornate, and the paintings were pretty good. This is not the best card in the set but I wanted to show it in contrast to the 2009 Bench. Some suit, eh?

The set starts to go downhill in 2012. The paintings aren't as good. The black borders are unattractive and they went from gray card stock to brown, which made the backs harder to read. And I think there fewer baseball players in 2012, which are the cards I'm mostly interested in.

Some improvement in 2013. The paintings aren't any better but the white border is a big improvement in the front design. The proportion of baseball players seems about the same as 2012. And most of the baseball players are doing something related to baseball, like holding a bat. Last year the were all in civilian clothes. The heavy use of black on the back seems to be the start of a trend I don't like.

I won't repeat what I said about what I don't like about this year's set but I'll make three new observations. First, I think the paintings have gotten worse. Does this look like Robin Ventura to you?
Second, I think the proportion of baseball players has gone down. There are way too many hockey players in this year's set. And third, I did not pull a single woman athlete or famous person. The past year's sets always had a good selection of woman. What happened to that?


The Junior Junkie said...

Great post. That first year was amazing. What a set.

Hackenbush said...

I really want to like the Goodwin's but the as you alluded to the artwork can be just awful. Way too many clunkers. Masterpieces had a few but not not like that.